After you’ve submitted your application and received replies from all the universities you’ve applied to you need to choose your firm and insurance university options on UCAS Track.
A Firm Choice is your first choice of university, on results day if you meet your offer grades you will be given a place at that university. It’s really important to consider if you can picture yourself at the university and if you think you would be happy there, as putting a university as a firm choice is a commitment to go to that university.
An Insurance Choice is your second choice of university, this is your backup option if you do not meet the offer grades for your firm choice. The entry requirements for your insurance choice should not be higher or equal to your firm choice. The insurance choice is a safety net if you don’t meet your predicted grades, the entry requirements should be a few grades lower than your firm.
You will have to apply for student accommodation before results day, so if you don’t get into your firm choice, but get into your insurance choice it’s likely you won’t get your first choice of accommodation as students who put the university as their firm choice will have applied already.
You Can’t Change Your Mind Before Results Day
It’s important to note that once you have submitted your firm and insurance choices to UCAS you can’t change your choices. Often students think that if they decide they’d like to go to their insurance choice instead of their firm choice, they can just swap them around, it’s not that easy. Once you have submitted your choices you can’t do anything about them until results day when Clearing begins. If you get into your firm choice but would rather go to your insurance choice you will need to ask the university to release you into Clearing, so you can choose a different university. If you intend to do this, make sure you have called your insurance choice/whichever university you’re interested in to make sure they have space on their courses and are willing to accept you - you don’t want to be left without an offer.
If you’re only interested in going to one university or if you are 100% sure you don’t want to go to any of the other universities that made offers, do not put an insurance choice. Universities will not look more favourably at your application if you’ve put them down as your only choice, they can’t see which other universities you’ve applied to so it will not aid your application.
What If You Haven’t Got Any University Offers?
If you don’t receive any university offers or if all of your choices declined your application, then UCAS Extra is here to help. From 25 February to 4th July you can apply for one course at a time through UCAS Extra; you apply for one course, wait for a response, if they do not give you an offer then you can add another course to apply for. Universities have until May 25th to make decisions, but most will send out their offers before then.
What If You Received An Unconditional Offer?
If you have an unconditional offer you will not be able to put an insurance choice. Think carefully about whether you really want to go to the university or if you’re interested because it’s the easy option.